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Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca has yet to reach Cambridgeshire

Read the updated story on this from January 8: First Covid-19 vaccinations using Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine administered in Cambridgeshire

The Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University/AstraZeneca, which was approved last week, has yet to be rolled out in Cambridgeshire, the Cambridge Independent has learned.

Illustrative vaccine vials from AstraZeneca / Oxford University. Image: AstraZeneca
Illustrative vaccine vials from AstraZeneca / Oxford University. Image: AstraZeneca

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) confirmed: “It has gone live in a few places across the country, but not our area yet.”

Instead, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine - approved earlier in December - is being administered at:

  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Peterborough City Hospital
  • Ely South and Ely North Primary Care Networks – with practices in Ely, Soham, Haddenham, Burwell and Littleport
  • Wisbech PCN – Clarkson Surgery, North Brink Practice, Parsons Drive Surgery and Trinity Surgery
  • South Peterborough – Oundle Medical Practice, New Queen Street & Stanground Surgeries, and Yaxley.
  • Lakeside Healthcare and St Neots Health Centre, in St Neots.

The St Neots GP surgeries joined the vaccination programme from today (January 7) as the roll-out gathers momentum.

The CCG spokesperson said more vaccination sites would be “opening over the coming days and weeks” as the NHS worked towards the target of vaccinating 13 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

On Tuesday, the government said 1.3 million people in the UK – including 1.1 million in England – have received one of the vaccines, including 20 per cent of those aged 80 and over. Localised figures, however, have not been released.

Cambridge’s Labour MP Daniel Zeichner warned that the government needed to speed up and “get a grip” of the vaccine roll-out.

He said: “We are at another critical moment in our fight against coronavirus, so I back these tougher restrictions. But I am angry that the government has lost control of the virus and that this means there is so much pressure on our NHS and that schools are closing again.

“Now we need urgent support for families without computer and internet access, alongside a plan to retain and recover jobs. Most importantly, we must speed up vaccinations. Amazing scientists from AstraZenica helped create a vaccine in record time.

“So my message to the government is this – I know that Cambridge people will stay at home to protect our NHS but Boris Johnson, you need to do your bit too.

“Slow and incompetent simply will not do on vaccination. For the sake of our city and the country, get a grip!”

A researcher working on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Picture: John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA
A researcher working on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Picture: John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA

Cambridgeshire’s Conservative mayor James Palmer said: “I am asking for a clear timetable across our region for the vaccine roll out so people have hope and can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and they know when, where and how they will get the vaccine, especially for the elderly and at risks groups. We need a clear plan of how we will move out of the tiering system.

“As ever my thoughts lead to the human and economic impact of this measure across the region.

“I welcome the additional support to help businesses impacted by new lockdown restrictions.”

One factor that may have meant Cambridgeshire was not at the front of the queue for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is that it has sites, like Addenbrooke’s equipped to handle the freezing temperatures needed to store the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, by contrast, only needs to be kept in a fridge.

Read more

Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca approved in UK - and mass rollout to begin

UK approves Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech

Cambridgeshire police warn of fraudsters sending fake texts about Covid-19 vaccinations

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